Fortune 500 Companies Reach All-Time Sales Record

Source: courtesy of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The 500 largest corporations in the United States posted profits of more than $1 trillion last year, the first time ever to reach that level and, of course, a new all-time record for corporate earnings. Total revenues in 2013 came in a $12.21 trillion, also an all-time high.

Fortune magazine released its latest 60th annual list of the Fortune 500 Monday morning, in the magazine’s largest issue in terms of pages since 2005.

The Fortune 500 top 10 list includes:

  1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
  2. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM)
  3. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX)
  4. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A)
  5. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
  6. Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX)
  7. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM)
  8. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F)
  9. General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE)
  10. Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO)

Among the more interesting bits of data about the list:

  • Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) dropped off the list.
  • Apple broke into the top five for the first time this year.
  • Nearly one-third of the 500 (160) are based in three states: New York, California and Texas.
  • Following a two-year absence, three homebuilders returned to the 500.

When Fortune published its first 500 list in 1955, the top-ranked firm was General Motors, with Jersey Standard (now Exxon Mobil) in second place, followed by United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X). Then came General Electric; a former conglomerate named Esmark that was split up with the remaining parts acquired by ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) in 1990; automaker Chrysler; meatpacking firm Armour, now owned by Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE: PF); Gulf Oil, which is now part of Chevron; Mobil; and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD).

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